Genre: Dystopian

The V Girl cover

The V Girl by Mya Robarts

My first review for 2016 is the last book I finished the previous year. The V Girl is an interesting story written by Mya Robarts. It’s a debut novel if I’m not mistaken, and it’s my pleasure to read and review this book. The V Girl has an uncomfortable topic, but it was an interesting concept. What if rape was made legal in our world? It’s just wrong in so many levels. Could it somehow be possible in the future? That’s why I signed up to review this book, I wanted to know how the author imagined such a world. Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours and Mya Robarts for providing a copy. Honestly, I didn’t really care about the world building because it confused me for a while. From what I understood, the country is divided into two opposing sides, the Patriots and the Nationalists. There’s a rebel group which our protagonist is a part of. Lila plans to lose her virginity to her best friend before the recruitment event. I wanted to have sex for the first time with someone I’d consider worthy enough to spend the rest of my life with. If only I had more time. Eighteen is too young in my book to have met the person to whom I’d want to commit my life. If only everyone had that line of thought. Oh well. Again, at some point, while reading I felt like I misunderstood something. Not the book’s fault; I get distracted easily. People who get recruited are raped and abused in front of the whole town. Even if they don’t get recruited, they can still get raped in the streets anyway. See what I mean with “uncomfortable topic” Apart from the disturbing parts, which aren’t a lot, I enjoyed reading this book. It took me a few days to finish reading. It was easy to read and I got hooked to the romance right away. Like Lila, I had conflicted feelings about Aleksey, but somehow I knew he was a good guy. Their first meeting was funny. I was giggling when I reached that part. He’s sweet and broody, goes out of his way to help Lila. If he were a real person, I would be crushing on him. I was intrigued when Aleksey offered to help Lila in exchange for something. You’d initially think it was sex, but it’s not. It’s more than that. It was dragged out for a while and I couldn’t figure it out. But after it was revealed, it made me love him even more. D’aaaw.. My other favorite character is Lila’s younger sister, Azalea. She’s a smart mouth for an eleven-year-old. I was slightly fazed by the way she talks but I guess considering the society they grew up in, anyone would be the same way. She’s mature for her age and it helps that Lila has someone like her to talk to.I thought there was going to be a cliffhanger because I was reaching the end of the book and I felt like things weren’t getting resolved. But it did. It ended Read more

The Star Dwellers by David Estes

The Star Dwellers (The Dwellers #2) by David Estes

The Star Dwellers by David Estes, a post-apocalyptic young adult novel with a bit of romance, is the second book in the Dwellers Saga. Self-published by the author on the 30th of September 2012, I bought an epub copy from Smashwords and read it from October 31st, 2012 to April 26, 2013. I loved The Moon Dwellers and I also liked this sequel. Although it took me a very long time to finish because I read it when I was just starting with my job and I had a pretty hectic schedule. The Star Dwellers picks up right where The Moon Dwellers left off. Adele and Tristan had to go their separate ways just when they finally got together. They each have their own task, a role to play, in order to save everyone in their world. It’s not easy and I think it’s great that they could still focus on more important things other than their love. It’s a rare thing in books these days. Like any other book, secrets are eventually revealed for progress in the story. In this case, it almost scarred a very important relationship in the story. But because they have a solid relationship, it only made their bond stronger. There are new characters introduced. Although I liked some, some were so and so, and it’s just hard to “trust” anybody in that kind of situation Adele and Tristan are in. I learned to love Tawni more. She is a true friend, to think she and Adele didn’t really know each other that much. They became friends after only a few days and yet Tawni’s loyalty to Adele was remarkable. Most YA novels may have a parent present in the story, but few are those with an important role in the story. David’s stories are one of the few. The parents are so involved in what’s happening in the world or life of the main character that it feels more real. Adele’s mother was introduced as one of the generals in the Star Realm, while her father is a leader of the revolution. I love how they’re part of the story and not just there for the sake of having parents around. They’re involved with what’s going on and not just dead. One of my favorite parts was when Adele’s parents saw each other on a video call, or whatever it’s called, it was a sweet scene. If you love dystopian/post-apocalyptic themed novels, and if you loved The Hunger Games, you should really pick up a copy of the Dwellers Saga. You won’t regret it. Highly recommended for people with hyperactive imaginations. ūüėČ

Starters by Lissa Price

Starters (Starters #1) by Lissa Price

Starters was disappointing. I read this book because the premise was interesting. It was, as well as intriguing, till after 40% into it. That’s when it started falling apart. The whole story felt like it was all over the place. There were A LOT of inconsistencies and questionable details. The age difference alone is not possible even with the circumstances. The writing was okay, world building was done sloppily in my opinion. I understand some of the things and tried looking past them, but as I reached the end, that’s when I felt like the plot was a stretch. There was a solution presented in the end that would seem like something the characters involved should have done in the first place, if it was just that easy. I’d say it was anti-climactic. The love angle has its moments, at one point I did like Blake but what do we really know about him? He’s attracted to Callie for no apparent reason and he did things for her without question. As for Michael, he’s been with Callie for so long that there’s a silent mutual understanding that they’ll be together after everything. Then again, we don’t know anything about him either. I don’t remember being giddy with any scenes involving either guy. The revelation in the end was unexpected for some but it crossed my mind 90% into the book. I think that would be the only reason for me to read its sequel, Enders, to find out WHY and HOW that surprise in the end became like that.

Portrait of a Starter: An Unhidden Story by Lissa Price

Portrait of a Starter: An Unhidden Story (Starters #0.5) by Lissa Price

I’ve been intrigued with Starters ever since I saw the book in the bookstore. Then I found out it has a short story, so I read this first.It was intriguing. The point of view was on Michael as he describes a day in his life with Callie and her little brother. It had nothing much but a brief and vague description of what to expect when you read Starters. I gave it a 2 because that’s all it is, a short story.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver

SPOILER: If you haven’t read Delirium yet, you might read some spoilers in this review. Pandemonium¬†picks up after Lena’s escape. The story was told in chapters with the heading ‘then’ and ‘now’. ‘Then’ told the story of Lena’s life after she crossed the wall/barrier and saw Alex shot by regulators. Thinking that he was dead, she had a hard time recovering physically, as well as adjusting to her new life in the woods without Alex. With the help of Raven and other people in the homestead, Lena struggled with her new life. The ‘now’ part tells the story after that struggle. She is now part of the resistance, lives a new life in a new city, using a different name, and telling a different story about her past. Being in this new life is tough as she still thinks of Alex and her life in Portland. She also thinks about her mom, now that she knows the truth about her death. When I read this book, I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure what to expect especially when Delirium ended with the assumption that Alex is dead. Like Lena, I don’t want him to be dead, but we rely on what she sees/experience and she saw blood on Alex after she crossed the border, when they were being chased by regulators. A part of me believed he’s still alive, another part is okay with his death so Lena can move on and fall in love again and it won’t be complicated IF Alex is alive somewhere. But of course, the whole series revolves around love, apart from the war. I wished he was still alive. I like how it was cleverly written. I would cringe every time something horrible would happen to Lena. I felt her pain, her longing, her confusion. I also couldn’t stand not knowing if Alex is still alive so before I continued reading, I read spoilers because I just had to know before I can continue. The book neared its end in what seemed to be a happy ending, until the last page where something was revealed and I was left hanging. Well, that leaves something to look forward to in the last book of the series, Requiem

Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene

Free Four: Tobias Tells The Story (Divergent #1.5) by Veronica Roth

I was so excited when I found out that there’s a short story on Divergent with Four’s perspective. I thought it was going to be hard to find an ebook of it but I was wrong. I found it as soon as I searched. This short story is Four’s point of view in one of the scenes that happened in Divergent. I read the reviews of other fans and they were happy with which scene Roth chose to write Four’s story on. There were a lot of scenes I would have loved to get inside his head with, but the knife scene was a great choice. It’s where he admitted to himself that he likes Tris and wanted to protect her, and it’s what stopped him from walking out on Dauntless and become factionless. I really liked hearing his reasons, his motivation for doing that to Tris. He told her that in Divergent when she got mad at him for taunting her, but it wasn’t clear to me back then. After reading this, it became clear that what he did was out of love. The downside is that this story was too short. I would love to read more about Four’s thoughts, his choices, his feelings for Tris. I’m still intrigued why he likes Tris so much, I could just assume it was love at first sight but still, I want to know.

Hana by Lauren Oliver

Hana (Delirium #1.5) by Lauren Oliver

Hana is a short story from Lauren Oliver’s Delirium Trilogy. The novella is written in the POV of Lena’s best friend Hana, where we see the story of the last summer before her procedure. We find out what her deal was and what she was going through with all that was happening in her life. In Delirium, I was intrigued with Hana because of how Lena described her. There was a clear change in her personality, but I think because of the circumstances, she wasn’t sure if she could trust Lena with her new found secret. But eventually she did and I could assume that a part of her, like Lena, was wondering if she did the right choice of trusting the other with her secrets. It was her last summer before her procedure¬†before she gets cured, it’s her last chance at freedom and she wanted to make use of it as best as she could. I liked this short story because it gave us fans an access to Hana, the best friend. I feel bad for her because all she wanted was to be loved and cared for, and it seems that she found it with the wrong person. At some point, I think she was jealous of Lena and Alex¬†because what they had was real. But her actions in the end, in my opinion, was made out of her concern for Lena, rather than jealousy. This was a good addition to the story¬†so that we would understand her position and not hate her

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Insurgent is the sequel to the action-packed, dystopian Divergent. War is upon them and there’s a conflict between factions. Four and Tris seek refuge in other factions in hopes of gaining allies to defeat the Dauntless. As they run for their lives, they uncover secrets and piece together information about their community’s origin. WARNING: Possible Spoilers Ahead. Right after reading Divergent, I opened Insurgent to continue from where the story left off. I was so excited to find out what happens now after the incident between the Dauntless and Abnegation. Tris starts calling/referring to Four as Tobias and I don’t know how I feel about it. I have loved him as Four and being referred to as Tobias feels weird. I liked how Roth explored all the emotions Tris was having all throughout their journey. She has lost so much but still had the will to fight back and save the people she cared for and loved. She is such a strong female character, but¬†some of the decisions she makes are either very brave or very stupid. Regardless of how irritated I am with her “selflessness”, I still understand why she keeps making such decisions. The problem with Tris and Four’s relationship is they lack communication.¬†Both originally from Abnegation, they are always trying to save the other and would often end up fighting because one made a decision for the other and vice versa, causing their individual plans to fail.¬†I kept thinking if they just told or consulted each other about their plans, they could have avoided¬†fighting. What I do love about them is even though they fight, their love just keeps on growing. I’m not sure if it’s just me or it’s really the case, but Four seems to go out of character from time to time. I can’t help but feel like he’s sometimes a lot different from the Four I got to know from the first books. Maybe because he’s Tobias now. There was a pattern in the story which I realized after reading. After escaping from one faction HQ, they would seek refuge in another. It’s one of the things that had me at the edge of my seat. The suspense of the chase and what would happen to them kept me intrigued. In the end, the factionless played an important role. They held a secret I did not expect and it caught me by surprise. While some of my questions were answered, a lot more popped up. Despite the inconsistencies, I couldn’t put this book down. I wanted to know what’s next, how it will end. I loved the suspense, the love story or lack thereof, and everything else about this series. It could have used more Four though.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

In a futuristic world where society is divided into 5 virtue-based factions ‚ÄĒ Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent), Beatrice Prior must choose between her family and embracing who she is. During the competitive initiation, she has a hard time determining who her real friends are and also finds herself developing a love interest. She also discovers a secret about herself, and as the seemingly perfect society unravels, she realizes that her secret may save her loved ones and everyone else. I came across the book Divergent when I was browsing a book blog and saw its image on the sidebar. I checked it out in Goodreads and found out what it was about. Some friends have read it and gave different ratings. I was intrigued and curious that I got myself an ebook and decided to read it right after I finished reading Delirium. I was excited to find out what the fuss was about. A lot of people seemed to love this book and I wondered if I would like it too. At first I thought it was a bit lame, factions were made based on one’s character, and surely, we don’t have just one. But I shrugged it off and decided to get it over with. There was something off with the construction of this fictional world and I can’t put my finger on it. After choosing a faction, whether they choose to stay or to transfer, they would undergo initiation to show/prove they made the right decision and truly belong in their chosen faction. But if they fail or decide to quit, they would end up factionless which according to the story, is worse than death. The idea of being factionless or how one would end up factionless seems stupid. Death is also taken lightly and a murder wasn’t investigated. The lack of accountability over a life is unsettling. Another thing I noticed is some descriptions were not delivered well, I sometimes find it hard to picture a particular place or incident in my head. I don’t know if I just didn’t understand it in the first place or it was really poorly described. Maybe if I read it again I would understand it better. Four’s true identity was revealed when he showed Tris his fears. Not only do we find out who he is, but we also learn how he got his nickname. I thought it was lame at the time I was reading that part, but now that I’m writing about it, I don’t remember why I had such thought back then. What I don’t know is who the woman on his 3rd fear was, it seems random, like a filler. ** April 19, 2014 update ** In the movie, Four explained that it is his fear of hurting or killing an innocent. That’s why it seemed random. As I kept reading, the more I got invested in the story. I didn’t mind its flaws or Read more